The bible of Philippine politics

Basta’t walang pag-abuso! Palace: Martial law needed to save democracy

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By Prince Golez

Malacañang on Sunday called on Filipinos to reflect on lessons from the martial law during the Marcos dictatorship and use the same to unite the Filipino people as a nation.

The Philippines marked the 47th anniversary of the declaration of martial law on September 21.

“Relative to our quest to strengthen the Republic and its institutions, the Palace urges everyone to look at the past to guide us on what to do with the present, that it may serve us better in the future,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Panelo said the imposition of martial law in 1972 and the abuses that it brought to thousands of victims “created a deep wound to an entire generation.”

Regardless of political persuasion, the martial-law period of the Marcos dictatorship continues to haunt those who have traumatic experiences, he noted.

The Palace official, however, defended the need for martial law to protect the state from its enemies and preserve democracy.

To ensure the prevention of rights abuses, the official said additional safeguard measures should be in place.

“Despite the fears and the trauma it created following its declaration, the framers of the 1987 Constitution acknowledged the necessity of its use to save the Republic from ruin against the enemies of the state, deeming it wise to vest it once more with the President albeit diminishing its discretionary use by adding more safeguards for its abuse,” according to him.

“Those who perceive that a declaration of martial law is anti-democratic is oblivious of the fact that its application is precisely the very tool to save the exercise of democracy. It is only when it is clothed with abuse by its enforcers that it becomes obnoxious. Necessarily, its proclamation arises only upon constitutional dictates. Any violation thereof subject the transgressors to the wrath and vengeance of the Constitution,” he concluded.

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